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- ItemThe Afrikander Volunteer Corps and the participation of Afrikanders in conflicts in Rhodesia, 1893-1897(Faculty of Military Science of Stellenbosch University, 2012) Hendrich, GustavDuring the last decade of the nineteenth century, British colonisation in Southern Africa, in particular in Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) had coincided with uneasy relations with the native black population. Partly because of continuing disillusionment over stringent policy regarding native livestock, hostilities between the colonial officials and Matabele and Mashona tribal groups resulted in devastating wars. Within these warring circumstances, Afrikaner settlers who had immigrated to Rhodesia since 1891 – mostly in search of better living opportunities – subsequently found themselves amidst the crossfire of these conflicts. Though subjugated to British colonial authority, the Afrikaner minority were regarded by native blacks as collaborators in maintaining white military and political power in Rhodesia. Consequently, the mere safety of Afrikaners were threatened by sporadic military attacks and skirmishes during the Anglo-Matabele war of 1893, and most of all, for the duration of the Matabele and Mashona rebellions of 1896 to 1897. During the Matabele rebellion, an Afrikander Volunteer Corps (known as the Afrikaner Korps) was established as a military unit, which provided substantial support in two decisive battles. This article seeks to address the role and history of the Afrikander Volunteer Corps, as well as the involvement of ordinary Afrikaners in the turbulent colonial wars in early Rhodesia.
- ItemBantu education : destructive intervention or part of reform(North-West University, 2012-12) Giliomee, HermannThe introduction of public education for blacks in 1953 and the withdrawal of state subsidies from mission schools were among the most controversial measures that the National Party (NP) government took. In introducing Bantu Education the NP government was within the broad parameters of white interests and thinking at the time. There was no strong support in either the NP or United Party (UP) for large scale state spending on black education, no real demand from employers for well-educated black workers and a general concern among whites that educated blacks would become politicised if they were unable to find appropriate work. The state’s priority in introducing Bantu education was to reduce widespread black illiteracy. While Minister of Native Affairs Hendrik Verwoerd spelled out in crude and offensive terms that blacks would not be able to perform high-level jobs in “white South Africa”, it is wrong to assume that this was based on the assumption of black intellectual inferiority. Bantu education always lagged far behind white education with respect to per capita spending and the ratio of teacher to pupils in the class room. After 1994, ANC (African National Congress) leaders criticised the introduction of Bantu education in ever more strident terms, suggesting that it should be considered as a destructive intervention. The article argues that, viewed against the state of education that existed before 1953, it can be considered as part-reform in that it brought primary education to a far greater number of black children than was the case before 1953. The extensive use of mother tongue education was contentious, but several comparative studies show that the use of such a system in at least the first seven or eight years of the child’s education is superior to other systems. The school-leaving pass rate of 83.7% for black students in 1976 is the highest pass rate to date.
- ItemThe beasts of Berlin(AOSIS Openjournals, 2011-04) Nasson, BillIn the early stage of the First World War, the Union of South Africa invaded the neighbouring colony of German South West Africa at the request of the British War Cabinet. The assignment was to knock out a German coastal wireless station, but South Africa’s war leaders, Generals Louis Botha and Jan Smuts, got above themselves. Going the whole hog, they seized the territory from Berlin. In the peace negotiations which finally ended the Great War, Pretoria persuaded the victorious powers to allow it to keep the former enemy colony under its jurisdiction as a League of Nations mandate territory.
- ItemBetween drought and deluge : a history of water provision to Beaufort West, ca. 1858-1955(NWU, 2020) Visser, WesselBeaufort West was the first rural town in South Africa to receive municipal status as early as 1837. Situated in the arid interior of the country, the town has struggled with water provision and sufficient water supplies since its inception to the present day. In addition, the town is flanked by two rivers, which, in times of high rainfall or cloudbursts in the catchment areas, have caused severe flood damage since earliest times. Therefore, throughout its history Beaufort West has been trapped periodically between drought and deluge. The municipal council was challenged in its efforts to provide water to the needs of its growing population. Two outstanding events in this regard were the extension of the colonial railways to the town in 1880 and the outbreak of the South African War in 1899. In this article the quest for water to Beaufort West’s inhabitants is investigated since ca. 1858 until the completion of the Gamka Dam (1955) in the Nieuweveld Mountains some kilometres from Beaufort West. Besides the extraction of potable water from springs, weirs, boreholes, water mains, dams and reservoirs, the paper also highlights state involvement and the collision of national with local interests in the water procurement process. Although the centenary publication of WGH Vivier and S Vivier in 1969 on Beaufort West highlighted some aspects of the town’s water infrastructure developments, this study focuses in more detail on its water vulnerability especially in time of drought and the constant search for adequate alternative water sources.
- ItemBusiness, state and society - doing business apartheid style : the case of Pep Stores Peninsula Limited(North-West University, 2012-01) Ehlers, AntonThis article uses the Pep Stores Peninsula Ltd case study (1973-1974) as a window on State-Business relationships during apartheid and to highlight the dynamics and outcomes generated by the combination of state controlled ideologically driven race based economic empowerment in tandem with corporate market driven initiatives. In the process it also sheds light on the role of Business during apartheid and the way they negotiated the apartheid context – in this case with specific reference to Coloured economic development and empowerment. The case study also underscores the viewpoint that the roots of black economic empowerment – despite the differences in context, aims and scale - in South Africa stretches back further than the much publicized post-1990 version that currently dominates State – Business relationships and debates
- ItemCaught in a stranglehold between resistance and reform: The Mine Workers' Union and rightwing politics in South Africa, 1979-1997(2014-12) Visser, Wessel; HistoryThe National Party government’s acceptance of the recommendations of the Wiehahn Commission of Enquiry in 1979, i.e., that job reservation be abolished and African trade unions be legalised, came as a huge shock for the South African Mine Workers’ Union (MWU). The MWU responded by aligning itself with rightwing parties and organisations. When white resistance politics became more extreme in the 1990s, there were even attempts by the ultra-right Afrikaner Resistance Movement, albeit unsuccessful, to infiltrate and usurp the MWU executive. In an effort to try and thwart the momentum towards political democracy in 1994, the MWU joined other rightwing organisations in an all-encompassing resistance under the auspices of the Afrikaner People’s Front (AVF) of Gen. Constand Viljoen. Although many white workers joined the MWU’s ranks, rightwing unity was dealt a severe blow when a schism took place between the Viljoen faction in the AVF and the MWU over strategies to create an Afrikaner. people’s state. Between 1994 and 1997 the MWU stagnated and reached the crossroads. To avoid further stagnation and possible oblivion, Flip Buys, MWU general secretary since 1997, began a process of reinvention. This transformation was completed in 2002 when the MWU became Solidarity.
- ItemChanging attitudes of South Africans towards Italy and its people during the Second World War, 1939 to 1945(Historical Association of South Africa, 2013-05) Delport, AnriThe emphasis of this article falls on South African wartime attitudes towards Italy structured around the differentiation in attitudes between the Union government; the domestic sphere; and the armed forces. On 11 June 1940 the Union issued a declaration of war in response to Italy's new belligerent status. Attitudes towards Italy were thus altered from "unofficial" to being an "official" enemy of the Union. Less than a month later, Union soldiers embarked on their first campaign in East Africa and later North Africa. In early 1942 the fighting moved across the Mediterranean to Italy. On 8 September 1943, Italy surrendered to the Allies thus shifting Italy's domestic position from enemy to liberator. Thereafter, South Africans fought alongside anti-fascist Italian partisans against German occupation thus altering their relationship to comrades. Although the war ended on 8 May 1945, many Italian POWs interned in South Africa still awaited repatriation. Some remained in the country or returned and made South Africa their new place of residence, taking advantage of South Africa's acceptance of Italian nationals. Similarly, some South Africans formerly held in European POW camps took Italian wives and adopted a new culture as a consequence of the war. This article illustrates the changing South African attitudes towards Italy during the different phases of the war as well as the variation in attitudes between different factions in South African society.
- ItemCreating order and stability? The Dairy Marketing Board, milk (over)production and the politics of marketing in colonial Zimbabwe, 1952-1970s(Historical Association of South Africa, 2013-11) Hove, GodfreyThis article examines the efforts of the Dairy Marketing Board (DMB) in stabilising the dairy industry in the wake of difficulties that emerged in the production and marketing of dairy products after World War Two. It traces and evaluates the marketing and distribution strategies the DMB used, and their strengths and weaknesses. It illustrates the point that while shortages which had characterised war-time and post-war Southern Rhodesia had been eliminated by the mid 1950s, continued increased production led to over production which in turn created serious challenges for the Board in finding markets for the lucrative liquid milk trade. This article analyses the general national policy of self sufficiency in agricultural production that was espoused during the course of the war and were pursued vigorously after the war. It argues that this policy was not feasible for the dairy sector because it proved cheaper to import cheese and skimmed milk powder than to produce it locally. It is also maintains that while the voluntary takeover and recapitalisation of struggling private concerns on the distribution side was necessary in the 1950s, the employment of legislative instruments to elbow private concerns out of the milk market from the 1960s onwards was not in the best interests of the industry. Instead, these tactics were aimed at placating the DMB financially - a move that was unfair to both private players and consumers.
- ItemCuito Cuanavale - wie het werklik Gewen? 'n Strategiese en Operasionele Ontleding(Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Military Science (Military Academy), 1998) Scholtz, LeopoldThe Angolan campaign of 1987- '88 came as the culmination of a long and bitter war between South Africa and Swapo. Although South Africa's underlying intention was to limit Swapo's guerilla war to the territory of Ovambo, this could only succeed if the Angolan rebel movement Unita could continue covering the southeastern part of Angola. It was, therefore, in South Africa's interest to prevent Unita from being removed from the equation by the massive MPLA offensive of late winter and spring 1987. This was the basic reason for the county’s intervention with Operation Modulêr. The operation was, however, run with excessive operational control from Pretoria. Instead of allowing the officers on the ground a classic Liddell Hartian indirect approach by marching northwards west of the Cuito river to cut the advancing MPLA forces from their logistical hinterland and dislocating their offensive by attacking them from behind, Pretoria forced them into a direct head-on approach east of the river. The reason was to keep the South African involvement secret or, at the very least 'plausibly deniable' - a naïve expectation. This did indeed result in a spectacular South African tactical victory at the Lomba River, where the MPLA offensive was decisively beaten back. But thereafter the South African forces were forced into a series of frontal attacks on increasingly well prepared MPLA defensive positions, including three final attacks on well fortified positions at Tumpo, which were beaten back, resulting in a subsequent stalemate. The stalemate was then brilliantly broken by Cuban forces, who marched to the southwestern Namibian border, threatening to cut the South Africans off at Tumpo, or alternatively to invade Namibia. The campaign is analysed in the light of military theory, especially the ideas of Clausewitz and Liddell Hart. The conclusion is that the MPLA lost badly, that South Africa reached its strategic objectives but did badly operationally, and that Cuba came out of the affair with flying colours.
- ItemCults, crosses, and crescents : religion and healing from colonial violence in Tanzania(MDPI, 2019-09-08) Rushohora, Nancy; Silayo, ValenceMore often than not, Africans employed local religion and the seemingly antagonistic faith of Christianity and Islam, to respond to colonial exploitation, cruelty, and violence. Southern Tanzanians’ reaction during the Majimaji resistance presents a case in point where the application of local religion, Christianity, and Islam for both individual and community spiritual solace were vivid. Kinjekitile Ngwale—the prominent war ritualist—prophesied that a concoction (Maji) would turn the German’s bullets to water, which in turn would be the defeat of the colonial government. Equally, Christian and Islamic doctrines were used to motivate the resistance. How religion is used in the post-colonial context as a cure for maladies of early 20th-century colonialism and how local religion can inspire political change is the focus of this paper. The paper suggests that religion, as propagated by the Majimaji people for the restoration of social justice to the descendant’s communities, is a form of cultural heritage playing a social role of remedying colonial violence.
- ItemDie debat oor die posisie van Afrikaans aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch : 'n ontleding(Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, 2008-09) Scholtz, Ingrid; Scholtz, LeopoldAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die debat oor die plek van Afrikaans en Engels as onderrigmedium aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch het sedert sy begin in 2002 nie baie duidelikheid verskaf nie. In dié artikel word ’n poging aangewend om die debat te analiseer en vas te stel waar en waarom die opponente verskil. Om dinge kort te hou is drie verteenwoordigers van albei kante – die sogenaamde A-opsioniste en die T-opsioniste – vergelyk. Die eerste groep meen dat dubbelmedium noodwendig lei tot die verdwyning van die swakker taal, in dié geval Afrikaans; dat die Universiteit in werklikheid nie eens die minimum voorwaardes vir die T-opsie nakom nie; dat die dubbelmediumprojek ideologies gedrewe is; en dat dit die belange van die arm gekleurde Afrikaanssprekende studente verwaarloos. Die T-opsioniste is van mening dat ’n universiteit se taak nie is om ’n taal te beskerm nie, maar om akademiese uitnemendheid te bevorder; dat eentalige Afrikaanse onderrig die Universiteit op die glybaan na parogialisme en isolasie plaas; dat ’n multikulturele benadering beter is as kulturele apartheid; en dat die beweging na Engels noodsaaklik is vir transformasie. Die argumente word dan geweeg, en die slotsom is dat waar die A-opsioniste hul argumente hoofsaaklik op akademiese en pedagogiese gronde baseer, die T-opsioniste se benadering veral ideologies is. Daar word ook bevind dat die Topsie op Stellenbosch sodanig toegepas word dat die eindproduk waarskynlik eerder ’n eentalige Engelse Stellenbosch is.
- Item"Discontented scoundrels who crowd the mercantile marine today" : labour relations regimes of the Cape Ichaboe guano trade, c. 1843-1898(Historical Association of South Africa, 2013-05) Snyders, Hendrik; Swart, SandraThe scraping of guano on offshore islands in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans during the mid- to late nineteenth century was an essentially primitive industry. As guano is a natural product with no further need for processing, the primary task of guano workers was the physical collection of guano chunks using basic tools such as crowbars, spades and wheelbarrows. Working on nearly barren islands with non-existent harbour facilities in remote areas far removed from its supply source, meant that guano- collection was an extremely risky enterprise and guano-labour was both back breaking and hazardous labour. Motivated by profit considerations, guanopreneurs and the Cape colonial state established and maintained an exploitative and coercive labour regime characterised by the use of deferred wages, credit and rationing as well as rigid contract enforcement. Guano diggers, however, did not accept these practices passively and as this article demonstrates, actively resisted their exploitation and marginalisation. As a result, the Cape colonial authorities were compelled to intervene, changing the system in 1898.
- ItemDr. Albert Hertzog se bemoeienis met die Mynwerkersunie(AOSIS, 2006) Visser, WesselIn 1975 het Dan O’Meara die boek van L Naudé, Dr A. Hertzog, die Nasionale Party en die Mynwerkers, vir die South African Labour Bulletin geresenseer. Daarin bespreek O’Meara die stryd en motiewe van die Afrikaner politieke en kulturele elite om ‘n Afrikaner-nasionalisties-georiënteerde leierskap teen 1948 in beheer van die Mynwerkersunie (MWU) te stel. Resente navorsing, gebaseer op ‘n in diepte studie van die Hertzog-Versameling by die Instituut vir Eietydse Geskiedenis in Bloemfontein, asook ander dokumente, het Hertzog se verdere intieme betrokkenheid by hierdie vakbond in die post-1948 periode aan die lig gebring. Aantygings van korrupsie teen die MWU se hoofsekretaris, Daan Ellis, het tot smeerveldtogte, mosies van wantroue en kommissies van ondersoek na korrupsieklagtes en wanbestuur aanleiding gegee. Dit het ‘n onverkwiklike magstryd tussen PJ Visser, die president van die MWU, en Ellis tot gevolg gehad. Hertzog was ten nouste daarby betrokke. Hertzog en lede van die Afrikaner politieke- en kulturele-elíte was besorg dat die twis en onmin binne die vakbond uiteindelik die beeld van die MWU by blanke mynwerkers, en Afrikanermynwerkers in die besonder, kon benadeel wat op sý beurt weer polities ‘n negatiewe gevolge vir die NP by die stembus kon inhou. Daarom sou Hertzog probeer om met die bestuur van die vakbond in te meng en selfs lede van die Afrikaner Broederbond het gepoog om die magstryd binne die MWU te ontlont. Hierdie artikel poog om ‘n aspek van die politieke lewe van dr. Albert Hertzog te belig, aangesien daar nog geen deurtastende wetenskaplike historiese ondersoek na die politieke lewe van hierdie omstrede figuur in die Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis gedoen is nie.
- ItemDie Eerste Wereldoorlog as faktor in die Suid- Afrikaanse toetrede tot die internasionale gemeenskap(Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, 2016-03) Scholtz, Leopold; Scholtz, IngridWhen the First World War started on 4 August, 1914, the Union of South Africa was barely four years old. In international terms the country was on the far end of the world and not very important. In addition, the country was a self-governing British Dominion, not able to pursue an independent foreign policy. Nevertheless, at the Versailles Peace Treaty of1919, co-signed by its representatives, Generals Louis Botha and Jan Smuts, South Africa was recognised as a player in its own right on the international political podium. This was brought about by especially two factors. The first was South Africa's military role in occupying German South West Africa and its important role in the occupation of German East Africa. The second was the participation of an infantry brigade on the Western Front in France and Flanders. Although this role was limited, it was exploited to the hilt by Jan Smuts during his sojourn in London and Paris during 1917-1919. Smuts was received as a hero when he arrived in London in the first months of 1917, and became a member of both the Imperial War Cabinet and the British War Cabinet. As such, his contribution to the Imperial Conference of April 1917 was conclusive in getting recognition for the Dominions' right to independence - although it would take until 1926 and 1931 for this to be legally formalised. Nevertheless, Smuts played a decisive role in winning the right for the Dominions to be represented in their own right at the Paris Peace Conference and sign the Versailles Peace Treaty. In the months before the Armistice of November 1918, he was Prime Minister David Lloyd George's right hand man and did an unbelievable amount of work, including advising the British High Command on Western Front operations, the founding of the Royal Air Force, solving various labour disputes and even sounding out the Austrians about peace. After the Armistice, Smuts played a huge role in conjunction with President Woodrow Wilson in bringing about the League of Nations. However, the last weeks before the Peace saw Smuts locked in a bitter fight with French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau-full of hatred for the despised Boches - as well as Woodrow Wilson (who had all but abandoned his own conciliatory approach) and an opportunistic, vaccillating Lloyd George, Smuts resisted the severe peace conditions dictated to the Germans. He repeatedly drew the others 'attention to the British magnanimity after the Anglo-Boer War as an example of how conciliation could be achieved, and pleaded for a similar approach to the Germans. Moreover, he saw that Germany had to play a decisive role in any future Europe. He feared that the severe conditions would fuel so much bitterness in Germany that it could lead to a future war - which, of course, did happen barely 20 years later. Smuts felt so strongly about this that he threatened not to sign the peace treaty, and it took massive pressure by Lloyd George and his own Prime Minister, Louis Botha, to change his mind. Nevertheless, in spite of his failure, by June 1919 especially Smuts had carved out for South Africa an international standing which nobody could have imagined five years previously.
- ItemFood, nutrition and the Afrikaans housewife in Die Huisvrou, 1922-1945(Historical Association of South Africa, 2020-05) Rommelspacher, AmyWithin Die Huisvrou, a South African magazine that claims to be one of the first periodicals for Afrikaans women, lie a myriad of curious recipes, nutritional tips and expectations about the relationship between women and food. An examination of the magazine provides evidence of the significant role that food was expected to play in the lives of housewives. These recipes and articles provide a glimpse into what was considered "nutritious" in the period between 1922 and 1945 and the part that food-related activities were supposed to have in women's everyday lives. The contents of Die Huisvrou reveal that women were believed to determine the health of their family with their cooking. They were expected to use food to ensure the health of the family and, by extension, "the nation".
- ItemFrom J.J. 'Boerjong' Kotze to Hansie Cronje : Afrikaners and cricket in twentieth-century South Africa-diffusion and representation(Taylor & Francis, 2011-01) Grundlingh, AlbertThis essay briefly traces the trajectory of late-nineteenth-century Afrikaner involvement in cricket. It then examines in greater depth the circumstances which during the first half of the twentieth century militated against the game developing a mass appeal among Afrikaners. The situation changed gradually with Afrikaner ascent to political power in 1948, and especially markedly different socio-economic prosperity during the 1960s, which contributed to cultural shifts and facilitated greater Afrikaner involvement in the game. The essay concludes with an assessment of the complex ways in which presumed Afrikaner identities played themselves out in the post-apartheid international sporting arena.
- ItemDie geskiedenis van Afrikanerbetrokkenheid in die Rhodesiese tabakbedryf (1890-1980)(The Historical Association of South Africa, 2011-11) Hendrich, GustavDie tabakbedryf in Rhodesië (vandag Zimbabwe) het ongetwyfeld 'n kardinale rol in die ekonomiese ontwikkeling van Rhodesië gespeel. Sedert die Britse kolonialisering van Rhodesië gedurende die 1890's het die klem van goudontginning en algemene landbouproduksie geleidelik na die opkomende tabakbedryf verskuif. Alhoewel die maatskappybewind van die British South Africa Company die fondament van die bedryf gelê het, kon die teenwoordigheid van Afrikaners binne die tabakbedryf nie sonder meer ontken word nie. As oorwegend landelike gemeenskap is die toetrede van Afrikaners tot die bedryf egter dikwels deur allerlei probleme en mislukkings gestrem. As gevolg van verbeterde meganisasie, boerderypraktyke en omstandighede na die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, kon Afrikaners meer effektief aan die uitbreiding van die bedryf deelneem. Mettertyd sou hierdie Afrikanertabakboere insgelyks tot die verbouing van Rhodesië se primêre uitvoerkommoditeit bydra. Hierdie artikel het ten doel om die betrokkenheid, probleme en welvaart van Afrikanertabakboere binne die geskiedkundige konteks van die Rhodesiese tabakbedryf te bespreek.
- ItemThe Helpmekaar : rescuing the “volk” through reading, writing and rithmetic, c. 1916–c 1965(Historical Association of South Africa, 2015-11) Ehlers, AntonThis article looks at the establishment and shifting role of the Helpmekaar Society of the Cape Province as welfare catalyst, set up in the aftermath of the Rebellion of 1914-15. Driven by Afrikaner ethnic nationalist motives - it set itself two goals. The immediate aim was to save Afrikaner rebels and their families from financial ruin. The second objective was complicated and changing: to promote the general development, upliftment and welfare of the Dutch-speaking section of the South African population and to develop a distinctive Afrikaans culture. The paper concentrates on the evolution of the second goal into a sharp educational focus aimed at unlocking the potential of Afrikaner youth as a solution to the poor white problem. Because the Helpmekaar was shaped by ideologies of class and race, this analysis engages with a couple of existing historiographical conversations about poor whites, the state, welfarism and also provides a revealing lens into the politics of white education itself. Despite the Helpmekaar's sectional ethnic and racial focus and the accompanying socio-political engineering, it acted as a welfare catalyst that contributed significantly - financially and as lobbyist for educational causes - in effecting educational change; in this regard it benefited a far wider community than was originally intended.
- ItemHistoric bells in Moravian Missions in South Africa's Western Cape(Historical Association of South Africa, 2014-11) De Wet, Tertius; Teugels, Jef L.; Van Deventer, PietaThe Moravian Church was the first denomination to begin with missionary work among the indigenous people in South Africa and today the church still has a very strong presence in the country. After opening their first mission at Genadendal in 1738, a number of further mission stations were established during the nineteenth century in the Western Cape. These missionary stations played an extremely important part in the lives of their residents, both spiritually and socially. In the Moravian Church, as in other churches, their church buildings and the bells accompanying them form an integral part of their heritage. Despite the research that has been carried out on the mission stations per se, no systematic research has been done on the bells at these stations. In this article we discuss these bells, when and where they came from, and who made them. Due to the historical value of these mission stations, we cannot consider the bells without some background discussion of the stations' history. A brief historical background is provided for each station before focusing on the bells at that station and who cast them. Finally, a number of areas for further research are touched upon.
- ItemHistory, politics and dogs in Zimbabwean literature, c.1975–2015(Van Schaik Publishers, 2018) Dande, Innocent; Swart, SandraZimbabwean fiction writers have engaged with dogs as objects, subjects and even actors. This essay focuses on the pivotal forty-year period between 1975 and 2015, which saw the end of white rule, the rise of an independent African state and the collapse of that state. In analysing how selected writers have variously made use of dogs, we discuss the extent to which writers deal with human-dog relations. We buttress our point by examining key pieces of fiction in which dogs appear and we unpack the extent to which fictive representations of humans and dogs approximate lived relations in pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial settings. We show the enduring relevance of dogs as metaphors of power in the Zimbabwean political landscape. We contend that such canine allegories have a history and explore their usage by creative writers over the last forty years.